First snow comes to Cambridge, February 12, 2012, a story of life’s unpredictable savor and joys.

February 13, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Article Archive

She kissed me... and I melted.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. The sound was unmistakable. It was, quite literally, that harsh, grating noise made when steel of the most tenacious kind scrapes against unyielding concrete; that immutable thing that insists (to the outrage of your ears) it is here today, here tomorrow, here forever.

And I cringed, snug abed as I was… for though the drivers of these inexorable machines would like the shower of municipal largesse that snow rains upon them every single day; these (usually) high school drop-outs and bumptious get such benefaction only when the snow flies. Miserable for the rest of us, this is their happiest time, for inclemency and beautiful large flakes by the million line their capacious pockets and always open palms. Thus are they always johnny on the spot to see this snow, consider the profits in this snow, remove this snow… as loudly as possible and, whenever possible, especially at the moment you grasped slumber.

So does snow, the most silent thing on Earth, make its presence known by one of the most loud, stentorian and coarse manifestations… and that should have been your first indication that this was no simple story… quite the reverse… for life’s first lesson (and hard learned by most, too) is that things are not always what they seem… something too many romantic young things have learned to their peril too late…

“Let it snow…” some idiot’s fancy.

For this tale of our times, a tale you like me might have often experienced in life without a moment’s thoughtful consideration, I have selected an insinuating 1945 tune entitled “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” lyrics by Sammy Cahn, composed by Jule Steyne and sung by one of the most unctuous men ever conceived, Dean Martin. It is a tune that no sensible person likes and which proves yet again (if necessary) that misinformation set to a bouncy tune gets an award… not its just come-uppance. (Go to any search engine, find it, and let its lilt uplift you.)

My Intention.

When I heard the first unmistakable sounds of the snow removal equipment and the loud commands, imprecations and expletives most assuredly not deleted, I knew my fate… for all that it was dark outside and my penthouse walls were gelid to the touch and its windows emblazoned with the rich munificence of frost expertly etched ….. a clear command I needed to bundle up and go out. You see, it’s my self-imposed and onerous duty to report on my neighborhood and its denizens whenever something of note is occurring. And there can be no doubt that the first snow of the new year is such an event… despite the fact it causes me personal misery of the most acute kind to venture out, the better to tell you what is happening and why it is significant. But as the recognized and much heralded Sage of Cambridge, I know my duty and not even the tundra of Siberia will keep me from it… though I am paid out in nothing more than chilblain and catarrh.

It was melting, melting, melting.

I selected this heading for one reason and one reason only: to brag that I was once kissed by The Wicked Witch of the West, the character much better known than the actress who played her in the iconic American film released in 1939, “The Wizard of Oz.” Her name was Margaret Hamilton, and when I was a student at Harvard I gave a tea-party for her one day and, of course, gave myself the best seat on the couch thereby enabling me to rub elbows with a legend.

She, Miss Hamilton I called her, was a sweetie-pie, my highest compliment. I bought her, from my own money too, an exuberant, grand, frilly box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, of the Russell Stover general store variety. She cooed the expected words “For me?” and graced me with a demure, enchanting smile. Then she kissed me and since I was a boy who had been kissed often enough to know, I conceived it was a Real Kiss, earnestly meant. But she was a great actress, mistress of every role; thus I shall never know… but wonder what would have happened had I been as ardent as she… But I digress…

… I simply wanted you to know that the kiss (and the look, mind) she gave me was sufficiently heated to cause the situation which made her famous, the situation where (doused with common water) she melted at the feet of ruby-slippered Dorothy. Perhaps had I melted as well and thoroughly when Miss Hamilton kissed me life might have taken a very different turn…

But, again, I digress, for what I should be telling you pertains to melting snow, not paths not taken or unrecognized (for all they were clear and apparent, had you the wit to see).

The snow outside my door, the snow for which I was well and truly bundled up, the snow that had caused such high jubilation and exuberance amongst Cambridge’s well-heeled proletariat was already melting away, the storm passed on, a wimpish thing to be disdained and dismissed, of no account or significance whatsoever. But here, precipitate in my too swift deductions and conclusions, I was most assuredly wrong… for this storm, puny though it may have been, had the power, ample, too, to change my life… and so it did….

Two incidents, one hard upon the heels of another.

I returned home not as cold as I thought I would be, not as impressed at Nature and Nature’s wallop as I expected to be and thought my due for my preparations before going out… a trifle irked at the littleness I had encountered where I wanted sturm und drang, grandeur, the unspeakable eloquence… you get the picture. But then the phone rang…. and a voice I hadn’t heard for ages… was there on the line, in need, happy to overlook the harsh words which had once, I cannot quite remember when, caused estrangement.

He had gotten off the train at Harvard Square, climbing the steps towards the Church Street exit and had fallen hard down several of them. No, he didn’t think anything broken, but could he come for some coffee and solace… could he come, he really meant, for forgiveness and peace-making?

So the snow, melted into icy peril on steps trod by thousands, had delivered… an unexpected opportunity to mend a fence, a fence that never should have been broken in the first place, much less broken for so long.

And this should have been incident enough for one day, one storm, one sage. But it wasn’t… for puny storms aim to prove a puissance and cool connivance mere bulk cannot deliver.

Thus, moments after my now resurrected friend was absolved de facto and with gladness, a car skidded upon the picayune ice and crashed into an unconsidered telephone pole of great significance, removing my telephone service for one day and still unresolved into two. The message that now appears when you call my number says the call cannot be put through, that I am in fact marooned inside my world, the sinews of my life so reduced. Thus this thought:

Suppose my regained friend had taken a later subway to Harvard… and suppose his hard fall had occurred an hour or two later, after my phones went silent; that he had called, but received no answer. What then? Do you think he, hobbling off, would have tried his impulse later, or simply said “Que sera, sera.” I shall never know… and that’s why life is so interesting, its uncertainties and unpredictabilities its very essence; our detailed and carefully wrought plans so often so insignificant and overpowered beside them.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Details at worldprofit.com

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